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CNG Conversion Basics
Compressed natural gas or CNG has become the alternative fuel of choice for many people who wish to reduce their dependence on gasoline and other petroleum-based fuels as well as minimize the harmful emissions from their vehicles. However, there is only one passenger vehicle model running on CNG that is available to the buying public – the Honda Civic GX. Unfortunately, the Civic GX has very limited availability since only about 1,100 units are rolled out every year. Nevertheless, there is another practical and doable option – convert an existing gasoline-powered vehicle so that it can run on compressed natural gas.
Converting an older vehicle to CNG does have its pros and cons. It can be quite expensive to retrofit a CNG conversion kit. However, if the fuel savings achieved by converting to CNG can compensate for the initial expense, then the investment will be well worth the price, especially if CNG refuelling stations are readily available. Aside from the fuel savings, CNG conversion can also reduce maintenance costs since CNG is a clean-burning fuel. This means less expense in maintenance procedures such as engine tune-ups, oil changes and parts replacements which are common in gasoline and diesel powered vehicles.
There are now a number of companies, such as CNG United, that offer natural gas conversion in the United States. They basically sell CNG conversion kits, CNG tanks and cylinders. They also provide installation of CNG kits and retrofitting a bi-fuel system into existing gasoline vehicles. CNG United is a distributor of high quality conversion kits from Auto-Gaz Centrum.
CNG Basics (Kits, Tanks)
CNG conversion kits come with everything that is needed to convert a vehicle to CNG. These high quality parts and components include a regulator with mounting straps, filling nozzle, high pressure tubing and fittings, and pressure gauges. CNG conversion kits also come with closed loop feedback system, emulator, time advance processor, and fuel change over switch. Of course, the necessary hoses, hose clamps, wiring, straps, mounting straps, screws, and fittings are included.
However, CNG cylinders and tanks are to be purchased separately from the CNG conversion kit. There are several types and sizes of CNG tanks available. The cylinder is designed to contain the CNG safely with pressure of up to 3,000 psi. The cylinder valve is also purchased separately. This is an important component of the CNG system. CNG United offers CNG conversion kits, DOT-certified cylinders/tanks as well as installation and retrofitting.